Page:Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892).djvu/698

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

once the city of sea-kings and merchant princes, we, like most travelers, tarried awhile at Nice, that favorite resort of health and pleasure and one beautiful for situation. The outlook from it on the sea is enchanting, but no one should visit Nice with a lean purse, and a man with a full one will be wise not to tarry long. It was the most expensive place we found abroad.

Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, the man who saw by an eye of faith the things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, is a grand old city with its multitude of churches, numerous narrow streets, many-colored buildings, and splendid palaces. Looking out upon the sea I recalled to mind one of the finest pieces of word painting I ever heard from the lips of the late Wendell Phillips. He visited this city fifty years ago. He was then a young man fresh from his marriage tour of the continent of Europe. He was speaking on the platform of the old tabernacle in Broadway, New York, and criticising the conduct of our Government in refusing to unite with England and France to suppress the African slave-trade. While in Genoa, the correspondence between our Government and that of France and England was going on. General Cass, who represented us at the court of Louis Philippe, had placed our Government on the wrong side of this question. In this very city, standing perhaps on these very heights upon which I stood looking off to sea, Mr. Phillips saw our well-known ship of war, the Ohio, lying in the harbor, and thus describes the feeling with which he contemplated that ship in view of our attitude towards other nations in regard to the slave-trade. With a face expressive of indignation, shame and scorn, Phillips said, "As I stood upon the shores of Genoa, and saw floating upon the placid waters of the Mediterranean our beautiful American ship, the Ohio, with masts tapering pro-